Shorter days and cooler weather can leave us feeling in need of a boost at this time of year, and backbends and chest-openers fit the bill, stimulating lung energy and lifting our spirits, as we stretch and breathe. We can build our own backbending sequences, perhaps beginning with Sphinx (pictured), extending into Cobra and Upward facing Dog as flexibility and energy levels allow; always maintaining a deep flowing breath, which helps to create space in the spine.
Sphinx opens up and stretches the front of the body as well as the spine, releases the shoulders and calms the mind:
Lie face down on your mat with legs straight, stretching both arms out in front, fingers spreading. Lengthen from fingers to toes and allow the front of the body to release down into the mat.
Inhale, lifting head and chest and slide the arms back, bringing the elbows to just beneath the shoulders. Roll the shoulders back and drop the tailbone down. Engage the abdominal muscles to help support the lower back.
Lift and bring the chest forwards; breathe into your heart space.
Keep warm, and enjoy the fireworks and autumn colours this month!